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Humphrey receives summer Undergraduate Research Awards

Friday, June 05, 2015

LAWRENCE — This summer, 28 University of Kansas students will receive Undergraduate Research Awards, which provide $1,000 to support mentored projects. 

“These students have worked with their mentors to propose projects that allow them to apply the tools of their respective disciplines to a wide range of topics,” said John Augusto, assistant vice provost. “This kind of hands-on experience is invaluable for students as they transition from simply learning about their discipline to using the tools of their discipline to solve real-world problems.”

Students apply for UGRAs by writing a four-page research proposal under the guidance of a research mentor. Faculty reviewers evaluate the applications based on the merit of the applicant's proposal, the applicant's academic record and a recommendation letter from the mentor.

The UGRA competition is coordinated by the Center for Undergraduate Research and funded by a partnership between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Office of Research, Undergraduate Studies and the Office of the Provost. 

The call for proposals for the spring 2016 competition will come out in the fall. More information is available on the Center for Undergraduate Research website.

Students receiving awards for the summer of 2015 are listed below in alphabetical order. Hometowns are included if available.

Mario Balcazar, freshman from La Paz, Bolivia, in engineering physics, “Data Analysis for the Telescope Array Radar Experiment,” mentored by Dave Besson, physics and astronomy.

Samantha Beauchamp, junior in microbiology; “Finding Downstream Binding Targets of C. elegans EXC-7 Protein,” mentored by Matthew Buechner, molecular biosciences.

Mackenzie Bloom, sophomore from Superior, Colorado, in genetics; “Inducing chondrogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells by gene delivery for cartilage tissue repair,” mentored by Michael Detamore, chemical engineering.

Sydney Bolin, junior from Wichita in ecology & evolutionary biology; “The Effect of Microplastic Pollution on Vertebrate Fat Reserves,” mentored by James Thorp, ecology & evolutionary biology.

Hannah Boyd, senior from Tulsa, Oklahoma, in ecology & evolutionary biology; “Arthropod communities of Marantaceae plants, Costa Rica,” mentored by Caroline Chaboo, ecology & evolutionary biology.

Jacob Chamberlin, sophomore from Wichita in health & physical education; “High School Athletes’ Perceptions of the Climate in Their Off-Season Training Programs and Their Motivational Responses,” mentored by Mary Fry, health, sport, and exercise science.

Hon Ki Cheung, senior from Hong Kong in music theory and organ performance; “A narrative multimedia composition,” mentored by Bryan “Kip” Haaheim, music.

Alyssa Cole, senior from Garden City in history; “African-American women in the military during the Vietnam War,” mentored by Clarence Lang, African & African-American studies.

Katherine Deckert, senior from Leawood in behavioral neuroscience; “An Examination of the Structure of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Traits in a Clinical Autism Spectrum Disorders Sample Using Network Analysis,” mentored by Evangelia Chrysikou, psychology.

Lauren Fitzgerald, senior from Topeka in film & media studies and English; “Science Communication,” mentored by Meg Jamieson, film & media studies.

Will Fleming, sophomore from Leawood in anthropology and applied behavioral science; “’How Much Would You Pay?’ The Cost of Alcohol Addiction for the Miskitu People,” mentored by Laura Herlihy, Latin American & Caribbean studies, and David Jarmolowicz, applied behavioral science.

Nicole Humphrey, junior from Lawrence in political science and public administration; “Competing Values: Prioritization of Social Equity among City Administrators,” mentored by Shannon Portillo, public affairs & administration.

Brianna Jackson, freshman from Overland Park in microbiology; “Investigating the Potential Link between Lysosomal Trapping and Duration of Activity Associated with β2 Agonist Drugs,” mentored by Jeff Krise, pharmaceutical chemistry.

Faelan Jacobson, freshman from Lawrence in engineering physics; “Behavioral syndromes in the Great Basin collared lizard (Crotaphytus bicintores) and the blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii),” mentored by Douglas Eifler, mathematics.

William Kenney, junior from Leawood in English and philosophy; “In Harm's Way, a Novel,” mentored by Tom Lorenz, English.

Valerie Kutchko, senior in psychology and human sexuality; “Bystanders: Identification of sexual coercion and their motivation for intervention,” mentored by Charlene Muehlenhard, psychology and women, gender & sexuality studies.

Dalton Leprich, senior from Lenexa in microbiology; “Microbial Colonization of Teeth may Predict Susceptibility to Recurrent Dental Caries,” mentored by Brendan Mattingly, undergraduate biology.

Dongyu Li, junior in psychology; “Mother or Wife? Relational Mobility and Personal Choice between Conjugal Relationships and Consanguine Relationships,” mentored by Glenn Adams, psychology.

Jeremy Lippman, sophomore from Aurora, Illinois, in health, sport, & exercise science; “Influence of Physical Activity and the Sports Skill and Fitness School on Motorneuron Behavior Children,” mentored by Trent Herda, health, sport & exercise sciences.

Paige Miller, junior from Leawood in biochemistry; “Membracidae Diversity in Peru (Hemiptera),” mentored by Caroline Chaboo, ecology & evolutionary biology.

Eli Olson, junior from St. Joseph, Missouri, in cellular biology; “Nuclear RNAi Phenomena in Caenorhabditis elegans,” mentored by Lisa Timmons, molecular biosciences.

Dharam Patel, junior from Olathe in microbiology; “Production and Purification of PvdJ Module 2,” mentored by Audrey Lamb, molecular biosciences.

Blaine Ragsdale, senior from Shawnee in behavioral neuroscience; “Building Normative Cerebral Blood Flow Maps for Healthy Adults Using Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” mentored by Evangelia Chrysikou, psychology.

Gregory "Adam" Reeves, sophomore from Pleasant Hill, Missouri, in genetics; “The Role of Transposable Elements in the Neural Degeneration of Drosophila (Fruit Flies),” mentored by Stuart Macdonald, molecular biosciences.

Channing Shives, sophomore from Overland Park in biology; “Investigation of Spermatophore Proteins in Heliconius Butterflies,” mentored by James Walters, ecology & evolutionary biology.

Darra Stuart, sophomore from Coralville, Iowa, in global & international studies and environmental studies; “If Walls Could Talk: The Nature of the City Fortifications at Early Bronze Age Tell es-Safi/Gath Israel,” mentored by Eric Welch, Jewish studies.

Bryce Tappan, junior from Brookings, South Dakota, in chemistry; “Design of Mercaptoazulene-based Systems with Tunable Luminescence Profiles,” mentored by Mikhail Barybin, chemistry.

Kayla Yi, sophomore from Overland Park in human biology; “Art in Science: Developing Creative Works from Biodiversity,” mentored by Caroline Chaboo, ecology & evolutionary biology.


Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration
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